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Students showcase skills at Wesley School for Seniors concert

24 December 2019 Wesley Mission news

It’s the moment they’ve waited for all year. In nervous anticipation, talented seniors prepare to perform at Wesley School for Seniors End of Year concert.

And talent was in no short supply as Wesley School for Seniors’ students showcased their creative abilities on 12 December 2019. Family and friends of the students tapped their feet and clapped their hands while entertained by belly dancers, guitarists, multilingual singers, square dancers and much more.

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With over 90 courses on offer, approximately 450 students every term and 92 volunteers who support the running of the school, Wesley School for Seniors offers people over 55 the opportunity to learn new skills through educational and recreational courses that focus on their physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs.

A self-taught pianist, John has been sharing his musical talents as a Wesley School for Seniors tutor for the last three years. While John started his journey with Wesley School for Seniors as a Spanish student, his connection with the school actually began over 40 years ago. Following in his family’s footsteps, John’s mother also studied Spanish at Wesley School for Seniors in the 1970s.

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After learning there was a piano tutor shortage, John offered his services and just two weeks later he began teaching. “It’s good being a volunteer… you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile,” he said.

Leonore also started her journey with Wesley School for Seniors as a student before offering her skills as a Tai Chi tutor and South American Folklore dance instructor.

“I wanted to help people… I love people. I love to do something for the community. I thought that was a good way to teach what I know, to give the knowledge, my knowledge, my humble knowledge to other people,” explained Leonore, who has taught at Wesley School for Seniors for eight years.

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While many seniors come to Wesley School for Seniors to develop new skills, students gain more than new expertise—opportunities to develop friendships and reduce social isolation.

“I think a lot of people who come here come for company. I think a lot of people are retired, a lot of men or women who’ve lost their partner and I think Wesley School for Seniors is very important for that. It gives these people somewhere to go, to meet other people, to socialise,” said John.

Leonore added, “Coming here and enjoying the company and learning things, it keeps us younger.”

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Courses range from beginner to advanced and are held Monday to Friday at Wesley Mission in Sydney’s CBD and on various days at Wesley Retirement Village, Alan Walker Village in Carlingford.

Enrolments for Term 1 2020 will begin on Monday 20 January and classes will resume on Tuesday 28 January.

Summer school workshops are available between Monday 6 January and Friday 17 January for those who wish to continue learning during the new year. Email schoolforseniors@wesleymission.org.au for more details.